The video games industry is currently enjoying a time of expansion and there are many opportunities for talented designers and developers. The work of a games developer involves devising the concept, designing the graphics, creating the objects and writing the programs for new games. They may work for independent games companies or for the larger companies that create the consoles who need games that can be played on them.
Most games developers hold a bachelor degree in games design or a related subject such as computer games technology. Bachelor degrees will either be three of four years depending on whether or not the institution offers a sandwich course where you will able to study a year in industry. Teaching is divided between lectures practical assignments where you will learn the skills needed to become a games developer using the latest technology.
In order to be accepted onto a university degree course you should first hold at least five GCSEs graded A*-C, including ones in maths and science. After this you should complete at least two A levels or a B-TEC in a relevant subject.
A lot of employers place a lot of emphasis on experience and your portfolio of previous work when looking for new designers. You should already have a keen interest in computers and have gained a lot of knowledge through this. If you have done any designs in your spare time, as well as those you do in school and college, you should keep them to add to your portfolio. A lot of games designers start off as game reviewers and then move up to designing once they have the qualifications. Try looking for any game reviewing jobs on the internet which you could do in order to gain an insight into the world of game design.
Career pathways after graduation
Once you have graduated there are many opportunities in the UK for talented games designers; most are based in London and the South-East but there are also many companies based in Manchester, the North-East and Scotland. You may start off as a reviewer or junior designer but can then move up throughout your career to become a senior designer in charge your own design team.